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Ex-Ireland player Humphreys to leave role with Gloucester after six seasons

The Ulster European Cup winner will leave his position as Director of Rugby at the end of June.

FORMER IRELAND PLAYER David Humphreys is set to leave his post as Director of Rugby at Gloucester at the end of June.

david-humphreys-arrives-ahead-of-the-game-14122019 David Humphries before the game between Gloucester and Connacht last December

The English club made the announcement this afternoon which will see Humphreys depart after six seasons in the position.

Humphreys, who enjoyed a successful playing career as outhalf for Ireland and captained Ulster to European glory in 1999, revealed the ‘many new challenges facing professional rugby as a result of Covid-19′ had contributed to him making this decision.

He had also opted to review his position after the departure of Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann last month to join Japanese side NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

david-humphreys-with-johan-ackermann David Humphreys and Johan Ackermann in Bilbao last May before the Challenge Cup final. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Humphreys outlined the reasoning behind his decision in a statement.

“It has been a huge honour to have played a small part in the history of this great club. I have loved every minute of my time here and have been very fortunate to work with great coaches and support staff, and with great players. Over that time, we have built the foundations for a successful club, both on and off the pitch, and last season’s third place finish in the Premiership was a reflection of the progress that has been made.

“However, following Johan Ackermann’s departure last month, I took some time to review my own position at Gloucester and in light of many new challenges facing professional rugby as a result of Covid-19, I felt it was the right time for me to move on and a new Head Coach to come in and build on the work that has been done.

“It is always difficult to leave somewhere that has become home and I will always be very grateful to everyone in the West Country for the very warm welcome they gave to both me and my family. In particular, a huge personal thanks to Martin St Quinton for his friendship and encouragement throughout my time at Gloucester, and for his support in building a Gloucester playing squad to be a competitive force in the Premiership.

“The Gallagher Premiership is a wonderful competition and I will miss the excitement building up to every game at Kingsholm. When I left Ulster I didn’t think there were many places to rival the atmosphere at the Kingspan stadium, but from beating Sale in my first game at Kingsholm, I realised what a special place it is to play rugby when you’re wearing a Cherry & White shirt. This is entirely due to the incredible Gloucester supporters and I thank you all for your support over the last few seasons.

“Before leaving at the end of the month, I will continue to work closely with Martin, Lance Bradley, and the senior management team, to support the recruitment of a new head coach and to help ensure an easy transition back into training for the playing squad and staff.”

declan-kidney-with-david-humphreys-before-the-game London Irish coach Declan Kidney with Gloucester's Director of Rugby David Humphries before a game in 2018 Source: Martin Bennett/INPHO

Gloucester chairman Martin St Quinton praised Humphreys for ‘his unstinting hard work, commitment and loyalty’ while chief executive officer Lance Bradley believes Humphreys ‘has made a tremendous contribution’ to the club over the last six years.

The search for a new head coach is ongoing with Gloucester expecting to announce an appointment and the new coaching structure in early July.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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